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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Google’s 10th Birthday – A Decade of Google Facts

Posted by @ 10:07 pm

It’s Google’s 10th Birthday (7th Sept)…and the end of a decade that changed the world.

Few companies can boast about such a significant impact on both the business and consumer worlds in just 10 short years. All our lives have been altered irreversibly for better or worse (depending on who you ask) thanks to Google.

There’s an endless supply of information about the search engine giant that we feature regularly on this blog, so delving into the companies history and evolution would be fairly trivial.

Instead, I’ve decided to dig up some quirky facts about Google to commemorate the occasion and be even more trivial. I take no responsibility for the accuracy of the facts – please email Google for verification ;)

  1. July 2006, the verb, “to google”, was officially added to both the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary as well as the Oxford English Dictionary
  2. The name “Google” comes from a spelling mistake, the founders intended to write “Googol”?
  3. Google receives more than 1000 resumes a day?
  4. Google’s employees get free haircuts?
  5. At first, there was not even a “submit” button. Users had to hit the “return” key to generate a Google search.
  6. The Google home page is so sparse because the founders did not know HTML and just wanted to create a quick interface.
  7. Google’s Home Page Has 66 Validation Errors. Check Google Validation
  8. The infamous “I feel lucky” is nearly never used. However, in trials it was found that removing it would somehow reduce the Google experience. Users wanted it kept. It was a comfort button.
  9. Google has the largest network of translators in the world.
  10. When Google started it indexed 25,000 web pages – today it indexes billions. 
  11. 20 to 25% of Google queries have never been searched before.
  12. Google’s PageRank algorithm uses more than 200 signals to determine the rank of a website.
  13. The biggest leap in search usage came when they introduced the “Did you mean…” feature. This instantly doubled their traffic, thanks to an improved spelling checker.
  14. Employees are encouraged to use 20% of their time working on their own projects. Google News, Orkut are both examples of projects that grew from this working model.
  15. Due to the sparseness of the homepage, in early user tests they noted people just sitting looking at the screen. After a minute of nothingness, the tester intervened and asked ‘Whats up?’ to which they replied “We are waiting for the rest of it”. To solve that problem the Google Copyright message was inserted to act as a crude end of page marker.
  16. Number of languages in which you can have the Google home page set up, including Urdu, Latin and Klingon: 88
  17. Google’s first data center was Larry Page’s dorm room.
  18. Google’s search technology is called PageRank ™. It assigns an “importance” value to each page on the Web and gives it a rank. But that is not why the technnology is called PageRank. In fact, it is named after Google co-founder Larry page.
  19. The search engine that Page and Brin were collaborating on was originally called BackRub, named for its ability to analyze the “back links” pointing to a given Web site.
  20. When Page and Brin tried to find buyers to license their search technology, one portal CEO told them “As long as we’re 80 percent as good as our competitors, that’s good enough. Our users don’t really care about search.”
  21. Google Inc. opened its door in Menlo Park, Calif. in September 1998. The door came with a remote control, since it was attached to the garage of a friend who sublet space to the new corporation.
i’m sure there’s many more… feel free to add them via our comments below!

Happy birthday Google !

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (3 - comments)

22. Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, funded Google with a $100,000 check in 1998 that couldn’t be cashed in because Google had not set up a bank account.
23. Google’s intranet is called Moma and not even the employees know what the name means.

By Victor Tsen - September 7, 2008

Happy birthday Google ! I’m a Your fan!

By giuseppe - September 8, 2008

24. Pets are allowed in the Googleplex, they would be too alone without their owners. That’s true.
25. Ties are not welcome, even if you are a visitor.

By Gabe - September 10, 2008

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